Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Black and White Cheesecake Squares

It’s that time of year again: the days are getting shorter, the nights are becoming cooler, and an unknown impetus is looming over the care-free days of summer. It’s time for school again. After two glorious months free from the burden of classes and homework, it’s time to go back.

I’m feeling ambivalent about the upcoming school year. On one hand, I love seeing all my friends again and I look forward to participating in some new clubs, but on the other, I feel as though my summer hasn’t been long enough. One week just isn’t long enough for me to get bored and look forward to going to school again and learning. One week isn’t long enough for me to really unwind and relax when I have so many places to go and people to see.


The reality of September hit me full force when I went to pick up my schedule at school today. This is it: in a week, I will walk these halls as a junior, older than the majority of the other students at school. I will be halfway through my high school career, closer to the end than to the beginning, on the homestretch. Even to my ears I sound overly melodramatic, but I can’t help it. In a blink of an eye, I’ll be a senior, heading off to university and to the rest of my life.

I’m not the only one on this boat; seeing all my friends again reminded me of just how much we’ve grown up in the last two years. It’s hard to imagine that the short, skinny boy I knew in ninth grade is tall and muscular now. Or that the face of the girl I met during freshman year has evolved and become so lovely. In a blink of an eye, all those little things will be gone, forgotten.


After I picked up my schedule, we went out to eat lunch in celebration of my friend Rebekah’s sixteenth birthday. In true Kyleen fashion, I offered to bake something for Rebekah. And as requested, I made a pan of Black and White Cheesecake Squares. A twist on the classic cheesecake made with chocolate cookie crumbs and garnished with a drizzle of melted chocolate.

As we lunched, I couldn’t help but wonder how old the waiters and other patrons of the restaurant thought we were. Do we look sixteen or maybe we look twenty? Is maturity and perception of maturity based largely on looks or poise? We definitely look our age or older, but perhaps we don’t conduct ourselves with the grace of an older young adult.  
 
We don’t go to school solely for the academics, but also to grow up and become who we are going to be. As much as I love going to school and learning and becoming, there are moments when I think everything is moving too fast. Sometimes, I wish I could hit the pause button and just stay the same for a little while longer.

for Black and White Wednesdays.


Click below for the recipe.

  
Black and White Cheesecake Squares

Note: Never use oil in the crust. I was feeling especially lazy when I made this cheesecake and couldn't be bothered to walk to the fridge, take the butter out, measure out three tablespoons, find a bowl, and microwave it when there was a bottle of grapefruit seed oil within arm’s reach. I had figured that the liquid fats were the same, but I was totally wrong. Butter will set up in the fridge and at room temperature even after it has been melted, but oil remains liquid. My crust ended up over oily and “wet.”

Yield: 9 squares  

Ingredients:
Cheesecake:

  • 1 cup chocolate cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
Chocolate Drizzle:
  • 1 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Directions:  

For the cheesecake, preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving two inches overhanging on each side.

Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter, and press into the pan. Bake for 7 minutes and cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed. Be sure not to over mix. Pour over crust.


Place the pan into a larger baking dish and pour hot water in until it comes halfway up the cheesecake pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the center is almost set. Let the cheesecake cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour, and then chill the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the chocolate drizzle, place all the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the bowl on top of a small saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not come in direct contact with the water. Stir occasionally until melted.

Spoon the melted chocolate into a corner of a Ziploc bag. Using a pair of scissors cut the corner off the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cheesecake. Allow the drizzle to set, about 15 minutes, in the refrigerator.

11 comments:

  1. So perfectly done! Please come over to Cast Party Wednesday and share your creation with us!
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!
    http://ladybehindthecurtain.com

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  2. It looks so good! I love cheesecake.

    I'm (almost) 23 and people often mistake me for a high-school student. I think that how old we look shouldn't matter more than how you think, behave, treat other people, etc. Anyway, this is a lovely blog so keep writing!

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  3. These look amazing! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. I'm featuring you this week. Come by and grab my featured button if you'd like on.

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  4. Those almost look too good to eat. They are so pretty. Of course, I couldn't resist a good cheesecake :)

    Stopping by from Mouthwatering Mon.

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  5. First of all, I love your name Kyleen. Secondly, your black and white cheesecake squares look fabulous! Lastly, savor every moment of your last two years of high school!

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  6. I wanted to thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at Recipe Sharing Monday. Be sure to come back next Monday -- there will be a little surprise for you there. :)

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  7. Age is so hard to judge! People think I'm five years younger or five years older all the time! However, if you can bake treats that look this good, I bet they think you're a little older!

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  8. Hi Kyleen,
    What a beautiful talent you have and I am so happy that you have shared it with us! Your Black and White Cheesecake Squares look amazing and I can't wait to make them. Hope you have a wonderful holiday week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  9. kyleen~ i hope you enjoy your first day back! i am about to start teaching this tuesday :). its crazy how time flies during the summer. love the cheesecake squares, esp. the beautiful drizzle u have on top!

    thanks so much for submitting this to our #ricelove bloghop! the recipe does have to have rice as an ingredient.. and it has to be made in the month of september 2011. :( maybe write up a post and submit another one? it'll be open until the end of the month!

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  10. A great subject for B/W. You can really see how well defined the textures are. Thanks, Kyleen, for joining in BWW. (I'm catching up on last week's commenting.)

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  11. Congratulations!
    Your great recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday, hope you enjoy your Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

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